Main Menu
Random photo
Coca-Cola Bus Stop on Torch Relay, Finchley, London

Coca-Cola Bus Stop on Torch Relay, Finchley, London

I Give It A Year
Image of two mismatched silver rings on a year calendar

The Hobbit - Review
Ink drawing on parchment of the Lonely Mountain with a compass on the top left.

Hope Springs Review
Photo of a fountain.

More Sunsets
Sunset over the Thames and Canary Wharf. Click to go to Sunsets and Dawns Gallery for new pictures

The Sapphires Review
Photo of a green toy army truck on a boomerange resting on the strings of a guitar.

Review: The Wedding Video
Image of Image of three empty wine glasses on a white table cloth with place fanme with purpe bow, all in pinkish light.

Olympic Torch in Finchley
Danuta Ryland carrying the Olympic Torch through Finchley, London 2012.

blog header logo

SmartSection is developed by The SmartFactory (http://www.smartfactory.ca), a division of INBOX Solutions (http://inboxinternational.com)
Articles > Blog > Olympic Torch Day Fever Hits Finchley
Olympic Torch Day Fever Hits Finchley
The Day the Olympic Torch Came to Finchley

Olympic Torch Day Fever Hits Finchley
by Chartreuse 9/8/2012 18.38

The Olympic Torch borne by Danuta Ryland passing through Finchley, London. Here is the Olympic Torch passing through my beloved hood.

Beautiful girls everywhere, wall-to-wall fit blokes, smiley, friendly policeman, cheery security guards, and a melting potted crowd, cheering, whistling, rattling, clapping and waving in the rare, hot, July, London sunshine.

Even an hour before the golden, giant, flaming, ice-cream cone appeared, the atmosphere was excited and happy and not just because of the radiant sunshine and temperature in the 20s. People were gathering outside and opposite The Joiners Arms. The beer garden was buntinged-up for the occasion, bright with cerise petunias and drinkers in summer colours

The Joiners Arms, Finchley, London with bunting and flowers.A policeman had helpfully explained the approaching sequence of events and advised me about when to get into position to get my photographs. Just to the left of the barrier in front of the pub, I was in an ideal place to be able to take one legal step into the road at the crucial lens-clicking moment. I stayed in my sun spot, protected by a khaki cap and SPF40, with perspiration running south.

First came a squadron of police motorbikes to check the route, received a cheering welcome, and were followed by the merchandisers to fire up the crowd. I had no idea I was partisan about my little town until a megaphoned man from the rabble-rousers’ vanguard called out, ‘Hendon was good but Finchley is amazing!' (Apparently they said they used that formula everywhere and it went down a treat.)

Girls on the Coca Cola bus heralding The Olympic Torch passing through Finchley, London. Police and Lloyds bus in the backgroundThe Samsung cheerleaders on top of their bus got a suitably appreciative response, the Coca-Cola van was hailed and even the Lloyds van got several smiles. Suddenly she was there in the frame of my camera lens, the lady with the Torch, Danuta Ryland, flanked by grey clad runners. The crowd cheered, photographed, and waved hands, flags and divers Olympic ware. A van followed then a peloton of cyclists and suddenly the road was business as usual.

The police had done a superb job of keeping traffic disturbance to matter of a few minutes. They had kept the crowd safe from the wheels and pounding feet of the procession, and ensured the unimpeded progress of the Torch contingent, interacting kindly, firmly and patiently with crowd whose cheers, waves and smiles indicated pride in our Metropolitan Police force as well as our Olympic team and spirit. The police quickly strode back to their bus for the next stop, a queue formed around the Coca Cola bus for free commemorative bottlesworths, people milled browsed or dispersed. The shopkeepers and restaurateurs retired elated and the buzz quietened to a hum that was still there the next day.

Crowds lining Ballards Lane, Finchley, London waiting for the Olympic Torch to pass through.I have lived here all of my life and never experienced anything like the enthusiasm, sense of community and buoyancy of that entire day including the performances in the park. I wondered why the Jubilee paled into insignificance beside it. Could it be that, like me, people perceived the Jubilee celebrations to be English rather than British? For immigrants and the children of immigrants there seemed to be no purchase, no point of emotional reference for us. It seemed to be a sort of 1950s home counties extravaganza. Perfectly acceptable just not universally accessible.

Olympic Torch Day, by contrast, was a truly British event and very much of the people with a local Polish (non-celeb) lady bearing the mighty flame. Our Olympic team is of global extraction to reflect our nation. The Olympic event is modern and it will leave a dynamic legacy. It is both now and future. Even the running torchbearer is a symbol of forward movement. The games with their roots in, albeit temporary, peace between feuding nations reflect cross-community hopes and wishes. For the two minutes when the torch passed through there was no Them and Us. There was only Us. And I predict that, when I am 102 and unable to recall what I said 30 seconds ago, I will still remember that day back in 2012 when the Torch came to our town.

For larger and more photos of the day please see Olympic Torch Day Gallery

Bells: Kathak and Aerial Ballet Fusion in Olympic Torch Day Celebrations

More articles


  View this article in PDF format Print article Send article

Other articles in this category Hits
How To UK Register Your Personal Imported Car
Vaping Virgin
The Virgin Articles
RC Virgin part III: The Seagull - Flying in the Alps
Tragedy Strikes: Flying Foam
RC Virgin
Alpine Summer Virgin: Why Book Bourg in Summer
Contemporary Camping Virgin
Blue Badge - You Have To Want It
Canal Virgin
Olympic Torch Day Fever Hits Finchley
Corsets All Right
Dinner Table Manual
Sunday Afternoon at Le Pont de la Tour
The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

Feel Better Films
Red petunia in rising sunlight

The Virgin Articles
Image of two small green plants in snow

Red 2 Review
Image of the digit 2 in red on a smokey black background

Django Review
Image of the letter D embossed on tan leather spattered with blood across the lower half

Life of Pi Review
Image of the symbol pi in a circle drawn in white sand on blue water.

Frankenweenie Review
Image of the word 'Frankenweenie' in a horror font in white on a black background.

Great Expectations Review
Image of water next to a muddy gritty shore with the words in white italic script: Great Expectations.

Bells and Kathak
Image of three dancers in red costumes holding a large bunch of white balloons

New Cranes Gallery
Three white cranes on the Shard

Ice Age 4 Review
Chalk drawing of Scrat with a nut.

Review of Brave
Image of Vue cinema internal glass door with red-haired triplet appearing to peep around it, an a poster of Brave in the background showing Merida.